When making the decision to move into assisted living, it’s important to understand the different levels of care available. Assisted living offers different levels of care, from basic support to full-service dementia care. However, it is essential to remember that everyone’s needs are different, and not all facilities offer the same level of care.
This post will outline five levels of care available in assisted living to help you better understand their differences and make informed decisions. Also, knowing the care level your loved one needs will help make the transition to assisted living easier for everyone involved. So, let’s have a closer look at each care level!
What Are the 5 Levels of Care in Assisted Living?
Assisted living facilities offer an array of services and care to their residents. It ranges from housekeeping and medication management to more intensive care, such as frequent supervision, rehabilitation, and mobility support, etc. Let’s take a look at the five different levels of care in assisted living.
Level 1: No assistance
In the first level, assisted living residents hardly need assistance from their families or the staff to carry out their daily activities. They are relatively healthy with no serious health complications and do not require any advanced medical support. However, residents might have some encouragement to engage in social activities. At this level, it is more like living in an independent living facility with little to no assistance.
Level 2: Minimal assistance
In level 2 care, older adults may have minor impairments or health problems. They can perform most of their ADLs without assistance, such as toileting, grooming, medication management, etc. However, they might need reminders to carry out those tasks. Seniors could also use some housekeeping help at this point along with some motivation to participate in social and recreational activities
Level 3: Low-level of assistance
Seniors in level three care often need cues or reminders to perform their activities of daily living. For example, they might face difficulties in responding to an emergency situation or unexpected event. At this stage, older adults might start experiencing some impairments and cognitive decline, making it difficult to move, talk, or recall certain things as swiftly as they did before. They require extra encouragement and motivation to socialize and engage in activities.
Level 4: Moderate level of assistance
In level 4 care, senior residents receive help with basic activities such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. They may also receive assistance with meal preparation and medication management. Residents show increased health complications and memory impairments. They require help to move around and frequent encouragement to participate in socializing and other activities to help them stay active and engaged.
Level 5: High-level or full assistance
At this stage, assisted living facilities provide comprehensive care to the resident. Most of them require assistance with most tasks, from getting out of bed to toileting, to taking their meals, to dressing up. Many people show signs of Alzheimer’s and memory problems along with other health concerns. They require close supervision of multiple caregivers and frequent assessment of their care needs. Additionally, their social engagements become limited and require hands-on support to engage in activities.
Differences among Levels of Care in Assisted Living
As we can see, there are differences in the levels of care offered by assisted living facilities. The table below outlines the key differences to help understand them better:
Assistance required with ADLs
Health complications level
Single or none
Single or multiple
Ability to socialize
Able but requires reminders
Somewhat able, needs encouraging
Limited or unable
How Does the Level of Care Affect Assisted Living Costs?
The level of care a person needs will affect assisted living costs. For example, a person who needs help with fundamental activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, grooming, and eating) will require more care and services than a person who only needs help with medication management or housekeeping. This higher level of care will result in higher costs.
However, there are many other factors affecting the cost of assisted living, including, type of room (shared or private), location of the facility, amenities, etc. According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2022, the average monthly assisted living cost is $4500.
The 5 levels of care in assisted living range from very independent to requiring full-time assistance. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure the best possible quality of life for seniors, while also giving their families peace of mind. If you or your loved one are considering moving into an assisted living facility, be sure to ask about the different levels of care offered.
We hope this blog has been helpful in understanding the different options available. If you have any queries about assisted living or would like help finding a community that fits your needs, we hope you’ll give us a call. Our senior living advisors are always happy to chat and offer assistance however they can.
Meanwhile, you may check out some of our other articles related to assisted living below:
- How to Choose an Assisted Living Community
- Assisted Living Checklist: 25 Questions to Ask Moving In
- 7 Great Reasons for Move to Assisted Living
- When Is the Right Time to Move to Assisted Living?
What is the highest level of care in assisted living?
The highest level of care in assisted living is when a resident frequently requires hands-on care and assistance for multiple ADLs. The level of care needed is more intensive and often needs more than one caregiver to assist one person. At this stage, seniors cannot live independently and require regular supervision and assessments to monitor their health.
What are 5 different types of care?
The 5 different types of care include:
- Independent living
- Assisted living
- In-home care
- Memory care
- Nursing home
How do you determine level of care for elderly?
The level of care required for elderly individuals will vary depending on their individual needs and circumstances. However, some factors that may be taken into consideration when determining the level of care required include the elderly person’s health condition, mobility, cognitive ability, and living situation.
Is senior living and assisted living the same thing?
Assisted living is one type of senior living facility. Senior living is more like an umbrella term for different kinds of care facilities.
How do you know when to put parents in assisted living?
Some signs that it may be time for a parent to move into assisted living include when they are no longer able to live safely on their own, when they need help with basic activities of daily living, when they are unable to manage their medications or finances, or when they are experiencing social isolation. If you are unsure whether assisted living is the right choice for your parent, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional or eldercare specialist.